England may play Twenty20 in Pakistan
PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan has admitted Pakistan should have accepted an invitation from England to host a Twenty20 international game against them this year.
Had Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board Shaharyar Khan known that the inaugural Twenty20 Cup tournament would be such a success at the domestic level, he would have had no hesitation in accepting an invitation from England to host a Twenty20 international game against them this year.
This correspondent has learnt that few months back the Wales and English Cricket Board (ECB), while discussing the tentative itinerary for England’s tour of Pakistan later this year, had suggested that a Twenty20 international match be played with Pakistan on the tour.
"However Shaharyar who is a diehard supporter of Test cricket and not very keen on one-day or Twenty20 cricket, rejected the proposal and said it was not possible for Pakistan to host a international Twenty20 match in the coming series," a source in the PCB disclosed.
But after this refusal on the insistence of other Board officials and the domestic cricket sponsors ABN Amro, Shaharyar agreed to have the first Twenty20 Cup tournament on experimental basis at the domestic level.
The tournament held last week proved to be an unqualified success and drew in huge crowds with some 30,000 people watching the night final on Saturday.
The tournament —shown live on the Dubai-based channel Ten Sports and PTV —proved to be a major boost for the ailing domestic cricket structure and forced Shaharyar to announce that the Board would make it a regular feature in the domestic calendar.
Now the source said other Board officials were planning to advise Shaharyar to ask the ECB to reconsider its original offer to play the Twenty20 match as an international game between Pakistan and England should be a huge success in every way and the best way to launch the next domestic and international home season.